Portlaoise guide dog owner to reach new heights on Croagh Patrick

George Percy aims to raise €15,000 for Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Portlaoise guide dog owner to reach new heights on Croagh Patrick

Irish guide Dog Portlaosie Branch Chair Dick Connell, George Percy and Brain Fennell.

A Portlaoise guide dog owner has set out to climb Croagh Patrick in a bid to raise €15,000 for Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Portlaoise man, George Percy with his wife Treacy and 15 others will climb the 764 metre summit of the famous mountain on Sunday, May 6.

The aim is to raise enough money to fund a new guide dog. There are currently eight guide dogs and two assistance dogs in Portlaoise including George’s guide dog Halle.

The father-of-three lost his sight in 1995 aged 26. He became involved with the Irish Guide Dogs in 1999 and says it has had a huge impact on his life.

"Sixteen other people have given up their spare time to fundraise for this challenge and of course they will have the satisfaction of climbing Crough Patrick, but for me, and lots of other guide dog owners, we reap the benefits of a guide dog every day as we go about our daily lives," said George.

George recently did a test run by climbing the Sugarloaf Mountain in Tipperary where a harness connected George to his support climber.

Chairman of the Irish Guide Dog Portloaise Branch, Dick O’Connell will also take on the challenge over the May bank holiday weekend.

Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind provides life-changing services for people who are blind or vision impaired and for families of children with autism. It costs €38k to train and maintain a guide dog for the duration of its service.

This year, it will cost over €5million to run the organisation; 80% of funding comes through donations and volunteer-led fundraising activity in communities nationwide.

There is a fundraising night in Kavanagh’s Pub, Portlaoise, with live music from Tobin's Merry Men on Friday, May 4. Get tickets for the fundraiser here.

To support George and his team go to everydayhero.com/ie/george-percy. 

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